Unexpected consequences 

From Diary of a New writer – November 2015. This series chronicled my experiences as a first time self published author. And having just done it again for the fourth time, I can tell you, some things don’t change. 

This was the most difficult of all my diary entries to write. It’s a very personal post and one that I hope prepares some of you for the unexpected consequences of writing and publishing your first novel. This is not meant to be discouraging but it is realistic. When you write and publish your book, you might not get the reaction you expect. Not from the marketplace and not from your loved ones. For those of you who’ve already gone through this, I’d welcome you to share your experiences in the comments. Ok. Deep breath.

I had created this thing. This story I was so proud of. I enjoyed writing it. I enjoyed reading it. It was the kind of book I’d buy for myself. It had taken months to perfect. It was time to get the word out. The truth is, even with exhaustive marketing, it is tough to sell books. In fact, buried among all the other titles available in today’s market, it will be a miracle if anyone even finds your book. Sure you could spam the crap out of Twitter, Facebook and so forth. Tell me how many books caught your attention that way. … Right, me neither. Don’t be discouraged. It’s going to take time. You will not be an overnight success. If instant sales are important to you, consider doing some paid advertising. But please don’t tell me you are only in it for the money.

Here’s the rest of the story: Three Empty Frames was published at the end of June, 2015. There it was! Out there for everyone to read. I made a few early sales! Woo hoo! I announced it to my friends on Facebook and Instagram. Surprise! Apparently, not everyone is going to care that you wrote a book. Even worse, your family and friends might even think you’re crazy. Especially if you already have a day job, like me. (If you are a writer by profession and just starting out, that might be different.)

You know what? I am totally struggling with how to put this into words. I don’t want to make my friends who read this uncomfortable and I don’t want to come off as a whiner either. (I really hate whining!) Oh, who am I kidding, none of my real world friends are reading this blog anyway. And that’s kind of the point of this article. I really thought more people would be at least mildly interested in the fact that I wrote a novel! (This does not apply to a small group of my dear friends who were just as excited about the book as I was; they know this isn’t about them!)

But in general, hardly anyone asked me about it. Some who did would whisper to me, “I heard you wrote a book,” like it was a secret I was ashamed of. Like, “I heard you have toenail fungus. I’m so sorry.” Being a writer is not embarrassing, come on! Could it be that no one thought I could possibly be any good? Or was it, “Oh, she’s only self published,” with a snort and an eye roll, kind of thing? I’ll never know, because I will not ask. In fact, I’ve come to terms with it largely because I did ask the question in a safe place: a writer’s forum.

I was amazed to find out how many other writers experience the same responses from their friends and family. I will recreate that conversation here, without the names:
My question: How do your friends/family feel about your writing? Since writing is not my day job, it seems like nobody is really taking it seriously. It kind of hurts that no one seems to care that I’m doing this. I’m trying to not be oversensitive but it’s bumming me out. Anyone else have that experience?

Here are some answers:

J: I don’t really talk to my family about my writing–I’ve been writing since I was a kid, so they know I like doing it and that’s all they need to know. I talk about writing with my friends, but my real life friends aren’t writers, so there’s only so much they want to hear about it. It doesn’t matter if people in your life don’t take it seriously. Do you take it seriously? Will you pursue it no matter what they say? Is it something you enjoy? Also, make some writing friends. It’ll help you out tons if you have some people who understand what you go through

L: It’s pretty common, I think. My family supports me on a superficial level, but they don’t understand what it takes to put a novel together. Keep in touch with your writing tribe — we understand.

S: My family and friends roll their eyes even after my 4th book got published

R: My family and spouse are all hugely supportive. Most friends too. I did have a friend who I shared a writing frustration with (she asked how it was going and I went beyond “fine”). She told me “good thing it’s just a hobby.” She meant to make me feel better. By then I had contracted with an agent and had a book on submission to pub houses. I was beyond hobby. I told her as much, kindly, but it was always awkward after that.

D: Hi Meg–I’d be lying if I said that writing isn’t a lonely place. You’re going to come to find that no one in your life is as interested in your writing as you are. And that’s okay! Because there are loads of us out there who understand exactly what you are going through right now, and we’re here for you. And we care about your writing. We know what goes into it: the heartache, the tears. We know how hard it is when a loved one seems disinterested. Try not to take it personally. People who don’t write aren’t as interested in writing because they have no way of knowing how much goes into it and why it’s so truly important to us. We get it though, Meg. We’re with you. You are so, SO not alone in this!!!

Some fabulous advice there. Yes, being a writer is a lonely endeavor. Unless you quickly make it to the best seller list, it will likely be your experience too. Remember that your blogging buddies and writing group pals will understand. Join forums, find other writers and make friends. These are the people who will relate to your struggles, help when you need advice, give you a kick in the butt when you’re moping and rejoice with you when you succeed! My door is always open for anyone who needs it. As a new writer, I might not have all the answers but I promise I’ll listen!

#weekly #creativewriting

It’s time to edit…

You’ve finished your novel, now what?

The next task was to go back, re-read and polish it up.  At this stage, most successful authors hand the manuscript off to their trusted editors.  You, on the other hand, are a nobody, fumbling along on your own.  What do you do now?  Try and self edit?  Shell out the cash to have a pro take a look?  Decisions, decisions.

What exactly does editing entail? There are two basic aspects: editing and proof-reading. A thorough edit may involve closing plot holes, altering time lines, rewriting clumsy dialogue, etc. whereas proof reading is more about finding grammatical errors, misspellings and punctuation errors.

When I finished my first novel, I picked option number one.  Why?  Because as a first time, unpublished author, I didn’t feel I had the luxury of going with a pro.  Professional editing can get expensive.  Depending on the length of your document and the level of editing you choose, it can cost several hundred to several thousand dollars.  I did however, have a couple of cards up my sleeve.

One: I knew a guy.  My friend Kevin (not Fictional Kevin, my other friend, real life Kevin) used to work for a big publishing house and was able to give some needed advice.  He read the book for me and without actually editing, gave me some valuable pointers on polishing it up.  Two:  I knew another guy.  (Yeah, I have a lot of guy friends!)  My friend Brett is an English teacher.  He gave it a once over and pointed out some of the grammatical errors I was making.

Lastly, after I had read, re-read, re-written, and corrected my errors, I handed the finished manuscript off to some beta readers.  What is a beta reader?  The term simply refers to a non-professional reader who will read your manuscript with an eye to finding plot holes, disruptions in continuity, grammar and spelling mistakes and possibly highlighting aspects of the story that might be unbelievable.  The thing with choosing beta readers is this:  make sure they aren’t just going to tell you what you want to hear because they don’t want to hurt your feelings.  You NEED constructive criticism!  So your mom and dad, husband or wife might not be the best choice for beta readers!

Are you in a book club?  Ask your group to beta read for you.  How about an online writer’s group?  Some folks there might help you out.  Ask your blogging buddies here on WordPress to read for you.  Just be sure to choose people who will give you an honest opinion and some thoughtful feedback.  And attach a copyright warning to anything you send out, too.

Finally, when you’ve made changes based on the feedback you’ve received, put the manuscript down.  Walk away.  Take a break and read something else.  Then, after some time has gone by, pick it up and read it through one last time.  There is a point at which, you just need to stop screwing with it and put it out there!

#weekly #creativewriting

How To Write With a Partner


Fictional Kevin and Dr. Meg – The Collaborators

FK: Several months ago I had been bantering about with several new WordPress friends: Dr. Meg, Dr. Shell and Jason. In my typical snarky fashion, I touted my superiority, made fun of their posts and was generally a nuisance.

They all loved me (of course.)

Jason made a serious post about how he was NOT accepting guest posts on his blog. I, of course, took that as a challenge. I decided to write a short story featuring him and my new blogger friends. It was compelling, so he decided to repost it on his blog. Win for the Fictional Boy.

If you read The Post it is, like most of my fiction, concerned with death and gore. Dr. Meg read it and made some comments. The online love was obvious.

M: I had a new follower… Fictional Kevin. His first comments had been on a post about Elmore Leonard’s ten rules of writing. “Seems like a pretty funny guy,” I thought. Ok, I’ll follow back.

I visited and commented on his blog a couple of times and then this happened…

On a post about sending himself text messages to remember ideas while he’s out and about, here is our exchange:

Meg: Funny!!!! I use notes on my phone too. How is that harder than sending yourself a text, Kevin? Are YOU sober?

Kevin: Don’t mess with my mojo this morning, Meg. I will cut a bitch. And I am mostly sober. Well, sort of. Remember: Hemingway said “write drunk, edit sober.” So I’m just like Hemingway.
He was an American writer.

Meg: Fine, ‘Ernest’ I will leave you to your scribbling! Stomping out the virtual door in a huff “Bitch indeed,” she muttered.

Kevin: Shouts after her: “and put on something nice for once, geez!”

Meg; Sniff

The came The Post. Seriously, go read it and ask me why the hell I stuck around. I can’t explain it myself. I barely knew this guy and he slaughtered me (in the story) in a most gruesome way after insulting me, my blog and my writing. For some reason I didn’t run screaming, I responded:

There he was, on the park bench, waiting for her. It was strange that he’d suggested they meet in the park on such a dreary day. She hadn’t given it much thought. She was too excited to see him. After all Kevin was one of her few writer friends. He of all people would be happy that her book had made the best seller list. As she approached, he looked up at her smiling.

“Hey,” she said, returning the smile.

He rose and offered her the spot where he’d been sitting since it was dry. Instead of sitting beside her, he picked something up from the ground and stood to face her.

“You smug bitch,” he muttered, before landing the first blow.

The first one didn’t kill her, neither did the second. Through the physical pain, her heart was breaking. She thought he’d understand. She thought he’d be happy for her. She thought he was her friend.

Kevin’s response? “This is perfect.”

It apparently was the beginning of a beautiful relationship…

FK: Dr. Meg responded almost positively to her untimely demise in “The Post”. I didn’t find out until later even her hubby, Harry, was concerned.

We continued to banter back and forth on our blogs and eventually she was able to see past my rugged good looks and charm to the real me.

For some years I had considered writing fiction. I make my living writing non-fiction, but I wanted to expand my horizons. Writing fiction is far different than writing non.

Reading Meg’s blog, I realized she is far more competent at fiction than I, so I paid close attention to the things she was writing, trying to learn. It helped. I wrote a couple short stories and also wrote more on a couple longer-term pieces I was working on.

After we got to know one another we exchanged emails.

I began to realize I needed help to be able to write fiction well. I struggled to write dialog and deadlines were an issue – with fiction, I had none. After getting comfortable with Meg and with her writing style, I proposed a limited collaboration. A mid-length story, 14 chapters around 1,000 words each, written alternately as a serial with each chapter appearing on our blogs weekly.

Foolishly, she fell into my trap.

M: Kevin thinks he’s so smart, doesn’t he? Well, he is, actually. And I immediately recognized what a great opportunity and challenge this would be for me. It would push me to write out of my comfort zone. Even though it was not without some misgivings, I left the basic idea for the story up to him, since he had suggested this whole escapade. I even let him write the first chapter, knowing that would give me the final word. And thus, more control over the story. evil laugh

You see, originally we thought we’d keep our alternating chapters secret from one another so that we’d have to “respond” to one another’s writing. But as the story progressed we realized that a true collaboration was going to have to happen if this tale was going to be any good. And THAT’S when I foolishly fell into his trap!

FK: Writing the first chapter was easy for me, but it lacked “something.” I am good at identifying the psychological makeup and backstory for characters. I had that down cold. I can even write a compelling bit of narrative if I work hard and hold my mouth just right.

When I got done, there was something missing. That first chapter was all “tell” and no “show.”

I sent it to Meg for her input. She agreed. She helped me craft some dialog that showed David “being” David, rather than simply me telling the reader about him. It improved the chapter dramatically (pun intended.)

This is one of the best reasons to get a writing partner: He/she can fill in the gaps in your own ability.

M: I have the same habits as Kevin in creating backstory for my characters. Write a little biography on them, things that won’t necessarily be included in the narrative, but information that helps you shape their behavior. Up to this point though, I hadn’t written a character into a situation as dangerous and psychologically manipulative as the one Dr. Melody Rivers was in with David Twichell. The difficult part was that I had largely based Melody on myself. I now had to really imagine how I would react in those circumstances. I had a mini freak out at one point. It was unnerving to put oneself in the crosshairs of a potential killer. Thus, being able to talk it through with my writing partner was invaluable. The experience of collaboration has made both of us better writers.

FK: After 14 weeks or so, we had finished our story at 17,000 words or so. Our readers enjoyed it and we enjoyed creating it. We’ll be putting it up at Amazon and will do a free weekend if you want to pick it up. You can join our announcement list here.

Some things we learned from the process:

  • A writing partner can help you have deadlines for your writing
  • A writing partner who has strengths you do not have can make you a better writer
  • A writing partner can help you see your characters and their thoughts and actions in a different light
  • A writing partner can brainstorm plot and character ideas with you and help you both create a more compelling story
  • A writing partner can act out dialog with you to give it a more “real” feeling for the reader
  • A writing partner can become a good friend – this was the best part for me.

Once we got the story completed, Meg and I along with our significants met in Gatlinburg for a meal and beers. It was fun and I think Meg and I will be friends for many years to come.

If I don’t murder her.

M: Or I murder him first… See? I always get the final word!

#weekly #creativewriting

The Oxford Comma – A Guest Post

In the English language, most grammar is pretty set in stone. From a young age kids are taught the rights and wrongs, even if they choose to ignore it in their everyday online conversations.
But there is one grammar rule that’s open to opinion: the Oxford comma.

There are two groups of people: those who adamantly use it, and those who don’t. Somehow, I fall into the mysterious third group: those who don’t really care either way.

What is the Oxford comma? It’s the comma that comes before the last thing in a list. Example: “I went to the store to buy apples, grapes, cookies, and pasta.” I could write the sentence without that last comma like: “I went to the store to buy apples, grapes, cookies and pasta.” and it’d still make sense.

There’s a really interesting kid’s book called Eats Shoots And Leaves that highlights the importance of commas, but in more obvious ways. The Oxford comma isn’t all that obvious and that’s why its use isn’t mandatory.

That being said, there are some cases where its inclusion makes for easier comprehension. Take the following sentence for example:

“At the concert I saw my friends, Madonna and Taylor Swift.”

One reading this could technically assume that my friends ARE Madonna and Taylor Swift, when I was really just listing who I saw at the concert. But if an Oxford comma was there, there would be no confusion.

“At the concert I saw my friends, Madonna, and Taylor Swift.”

I know I said I don’t really care about its use but honestly, I don’t have a preference because I was never taught to. I’m very precise about my regular commas and I know how to use a semi-colon, which is more than I can say for my engineer father (seriously!), but I was taught about those in school and because I pursued writing, I’m more aware.

I do understand the Oxford comma’s function. Lately, I do try to include it in my writing, but it’ll take time to become as natural to me.

Do you use it? Do you find it important? Will you try to use it if you don’t?

#guestpost #grammar #feedback

Show, Don’t Tell: A Theme, Re-Visited

Janice wore a dark-blue skirt and white blouse. She had another meeting this afternoon. Friends of the Library, DAR–something like that.
    “There’s a missing person up at Jocassee,” I said, “so I might not be back for supper.”
    “That will be fine,” Janice said, not looking up from  the table. “I won’t be here anyway. Franny Anderson invited me to have dinner with her after the meeting.”
    I leaned over to kiss her.
    “Don’t,” she said. “You’ll smear my lipstick.”

In this small excerpt from one foot in eden, Ron Rash tells me a whole weight of things about the Sheriff’s marriage.  Rash does NOT have his narrator say that there is a vast, sad distance in this marriage, a distance that might not ever be bridged.  But I feel that looming gap.

And I get to know the clumsy, humble husband and his sadness.  I learn about the cold and angry wife who values her club meetings above her marriage.  The vignette makes me ache, even as I accept the scene and the loneliness and the inevitability of the relationship. Rash does a great job of showing and not telling.

It’s an oft-told dictum, and it’s one we’ve visited here before,  but it’s good to revisit from time to time: we need to SHOW our readers what we mean, not TELL them what they should be learning from our words.

And one of the best ways to do this is by writing conversation. It’s the words and the action in the conversation above that bring our pictures, our meanings, into such sharp perspective.

Consider this snippet from JK Rowling’s Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix:

    He had reached the top of the stairs, turned right, and almost walked into Ron, who was lurking behind a statue of Lachlan the Lanky, clutching his broomstick. He gave a great leap of surprise when he saw Harry and attempted to hide his new Cleansweep Eleven behind his back.
    “What are you doing?”
    “Er–nothing. What are YOU doing?”
    Harry frowned at him.
    “Come on, you can tell me! What are you hiding here for?”
    “I’m–I’m hiding from Fred and George, if you must know,” said Ron. “They just went past with a bunch of first years, I bet they’re testing stuff on them again, I mean they can’t do it in the common room now, can they, not with Hermione there.”
    He was talking in a fast, feverish way.
    “But what have you got your broom for, you haven’t been flying, have you?” Harry asked.
    “I–well–well, okay, I’ll tell you, but don’t laugh, all right?” Ron said defensively, turning redder every second. “I-I thought I’d try out for Gryffindor Keeper now that I’ve got a decent broom.  There. Go on. Laugh.”

Rowlings does not say:

–Harry is startled to find Ron there.
–Ron is nervous and embarrassed.
–Ron is really fearful of what his friend might say of his plan.

She doesn’t tell us those things because she doesn’t have to.  It’s all there in the stuttering tumble of Ron’s words.

Conversely, a BAD conversation–and I don’t have an example for you–can sound a flat gong, or put us to sleep.

How do we write the first and not the second?

I believe it’s a matter of listening and learning.

We need to hear when people are talking.  We need to write down the things we hear.  So we walk through a noisy disagreement downtown, navigating around a slender, tightly wound young woman who is shrilling at a young man.  She’s  dressed in the kind of clothes you’d wear to a highly professional office or an expensively retail job; he is broad and thick and rumpled– rumpled of hair and rumpled of clothes.

There is a long pause after she finishes and then finally the young man rumbles a brief, succinct answer.

Even without the words, the action gives us a feel for what’s going on.  The conversation, of course, brings the whole picture into sharp focus.

Maybe we see an interaction between parent and child in the busy supermarket. Surrounded by temptation, the child begs.  How does she do that?  Does she ask, straight out?  Does she wheedle?  What does the child do that shows me the difference between asking and begging behavior, between pleading and whining?

And how does the parent react?  Is there calm firmness, weak-willed negotiation, or loud protestation?

What we see and hear tells us how frazzled that parent is, and how spoiled the child. We can guess what scenario has played out, again and again, in the supermarket, by the tiny slice of life we observe today.

And we can write that down, thinking about how we share personality, emotion, situation with our readers.

Read this exchange between Katniss and Finnick in Suzanne Collins’ Catching Fire.  The snippet takes place in the Games, after they’ve encountered a searing fog that spots their skin with red, itching lumps, disfiguring and disabling them.

  “Poor Finnick. Is this the first time in your life your haven’t looked pretty?” I say.
    “It must be. The sensation’s completely new. How have you managed it all these years?” he asks.
    “Just avoid mirrors. You’ll forget about it,” I say.
    “Not if I keep looking at you,” he says.

I learn a lot about Katniss, the narrator, from that little exchange.  I have a clear, true picture, too, of what Finnick must look like and how he responds to the world.  And the fact that these two are talking and cracking wise while dealing with the burning red spots tells me something about both of them and their reactions to pain and trouble.

We might not see young wizards longing for a Quidditch match this week.  We might not see young rebels plotting to outsmart an evil government.  But we will see people talking–old and young people, kind and harsh people, people who are happy, relieved, agitated, and anxious.

We can observe–what do they DO?  What verbs can I use to bring their actions to light, and show another just what was going on?

We can listen.  What words did they use?  How did they use them?  Did we strain to hear the whisper or shudder away from a screech? Received, how did those words affect the one they were intended to reach?

And then we can go back and re-create the conversation in writing–not to expose or embarrass, but just for our stewpot of meaning, our practice work where we find and refine, and then refine our writing voices again.

So that, when we’re writing to share, to post, to publish, the act and habit of revealing through conversation is sharpened and honed.

So that our readers say, “Oh, man.  I know EXACTLY how she felt,” or, “Brrrr! I knew someone who was just like that!”

We observe and interpret, we translate into written word. And we connect, deep and true, because we have shown, not dictated.

Happy blogging, my friends!


Creating Characters with Personality: Control

Creating Characters with Personality - What Motivates Characters?

“He would never do that…

Have you ever been reading a story, gotten to know a character and then, suddenly, they do something you are totally convinced they would never do? Yeah, me too.

I hate that.

It breaks the flow of the story for the reader, causes them to stop trusting you as a storyteller and gives them hemorrhoids. Well, maybe not the last one. All of us want to create compelling characters: Characters we can cheer for. Characters we can cry with. Characters we want to adopt and save. Characters we hate. Characters we fear.

So how do we, as storytellers, make that happen?

This is the second of a series on how to know what makes your characters “tick”. How they think will always determine how they act. Understand this well and you’ll be able to craft characters your readers will love, hate, identify with. Fame and fortune will surely follow for you. Guaranteed.**

Creating Compelling Characters Begins with Understanding Human Motivation

Characters are people too.

They act like people. They can be noble or ig. Brave or coward. Selfish or compassionate. But they should always act like real people. There should be a consistency to their actions.

Humans are motivated by two things – fear and desire. But you probably knew that already. In fact, if you are reading this right now, chances are you are a human.

We all seek safety and security

We all arrived on this planet the same way: Our parents made The Beast with Two Backs and 9 or so months later we popped out. Biology 101. Let’s take a minute, however, to go back a little further. Generations further.

In order for you to get here, you long-lost, African savanna ancestors did more than just copulate – they had to survive. Survive long enough to raise their children. Those children had to survive long enough to have children of their own.

Over the generations we evolved an overwhelming desire to seek safety and security. Those who didn’t were unceremoniously removed from the gene pool. Your characters are seeking safety and security as well. Oh, and sex. But I’ll cover that in a different post.

We create safety and security primarily two ways

How do we do it? How do we find safety and security in our worlds? Two primary ways: Actively and Passively. All people do some of both, but almost everyone has a single way they approach most of life.

We CONTROL our environment actively

Some people control their environment. They might be meticulous in managing their portfolio. They may emotionally or physically restrain the people around them. They take action. They are leaders, heroes, “movers and shakers.” Active controllers move your story along.

Jack Ryan, the character created by Tom Clancy, is a great example. He sees danger and he acts. And he sold millions of books because he was compelling in action.

We AVOID situations we see as a threat

Other people see danger and avoid it. They make their life as safe as possible. Take few risks. Underpromise and overdeliver. Their emergency fund has an emergency fund.

These characters are forced into action. They have to kill their attacker and feel bad about it. They are often the characters we relate to best because we can see being put in the impossible situations they get placed in.

Charlie in The Perks of Being a Wallflower is one of these characters.

Once you figure out HOW your character controls his or her environment, you can better write scenes where they have a crisis, a challenge or even a conversation.

Please feel free to put your comments or questions below.

#creativewriting #weekly

*Photo credit George Crux.
** Guarantee not guaranteed.

The Joy of Research

One of the most important thing a writer must do besides actually write a story is to do research. Nothing can ruin a book, short story or non-fiction/opinion piece more than messing up on the details. A lazy researcher makes for a mediocre writer. Continue reading

#creativewriting, #weekly

Creating Characters with Personality: The Narcissist

Creating Characters with Personality - The Naccissist

I love narcissists.

Well, let me rephrase that: I love writing narcissistic characters. In real life, they are more than a pain to deal with. Writing a narcissist is fun because narcissists cause problems and problems make for interesting writing.

Narcissists are selfish, use people for their own agenda, are secretive and fly into fits of rage. They cause crises that move the plot along. They have intense sexual needs. Continue reading

#creativewriting, #weekly

Creative Writing Tip -May 14, 2016

It is very simple how to write creatively. Write from experience. Tell a funny story, a sad story, a real story in which you change the names and places. I know y’all aren’t boring! Tell us what happened on the way to the blog.

For example, my ass has been having trouble sleeping. I haven’t been able to concentrate on Jack Schitt and his Schitty family. So, a funny thing happened on the way to the (blog) forum. I was writing a (fictional) conversation between my goofass fiancé and myself. I got tired at around 7 a.m. I went to sleep. I woke up at 3 p.m., took my phone downstairs, made myself a cup of coffee, let my fiancé REST because his left foot has a slight fracture in it, checked Facebook and the great life of Susan Boyle, and then made jokes with my fiancé. I did NOT forget this blog, Wandering Soul, or Rashmi. I never will. I just needed some inspiration.

That is my advice. Take it or leave it. Y’all know what to do.

Xara Nahara O’Connor

#creativewriting, #weekly

Go On Home Now And Get Your Topic

It is very important to go home if you want your work to be whole. You don’t have to move in with your parents again and collect a weekly allowance, but you must claim where you come from and look deep into it. Come to honor and embrace it, or at the least, accept it.

—Natalie Goldberg, Writing Down the Bones Continue reading

#creativewriting, #weekly